A branch-and-bound approach to correspondence and grouping problems

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell. 2013 Jul;35(7):1565-76. doi: 10.1109/TPAMI.2012.264.


Data correspondence/grouping under an unknown parametric model is a fundamental topic in computer vision. Finding feature correspondences between two images is probably the most popular application of this research field, and is the main motivation of our work. It is a key ingredient for a wide range of vision tasks, including three-dimensional reconstruction and object recognition. Existing feature correspondence methods are based on either local appearance similarity or global geometric consistency or a combination of both in some heuristic manner. None of these methods is fully satisfactory, especially in the presence of repetitive image textures or mismatches. In this paper, we present a new algorithm that combines the benefits of both appearance-based and geometry-based methods and mathematically guarantees a global optimization. Our algorithm accepts the two sets of features extracted from two images as input, and outputs the feature correspondences with the largest number of inliers, which verify both the appearance similarity and geometric constraints. Specifically, we formulate the problem as a mixed integer program and solve it efficiently by a series of linear programs via a branch-and-bound procedure. We subsequently generalize our framework in the context of data correspondence/grouping under an unknown parametric model and show it can be applied to certain classes of computer vision problems. Our algorithm has been validated successfully on synthesized data and challenging real images.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't